HANOVER, ON — Valley Courtney maintained her hold on top spot in the three-year-old trotting filly point race, and stablemate Grammy Hall chalked up her first provincial victory at Hanover Raceway on Saturday evening to give driver Stephen Byron and trainer John Bax the Grassroots double.
Valley Courtney delivered an impressive come from behind effort to rein in fan favourite Tymal Mystique and record her third Grassroots victory in four outings. Byron urged the Striking Sahbra daughter down the stretch to a one length triumph over Stonebridge Dancer and Tymal Mystique, halting the Hanover teletimer at 2:00.4.
Bax, who makes his home in Peterborough, shares ownership on Valley Courtney with Harry Locke of Oshawa. Through 10 sophomore starts the filly has recorded all of her top three finishes in Grassroots action — a trio of victories and one third for a total of $37,428 in earnings.
Stablemate Grammy Hall found her way to the Grassroots winner’s circle for the first time off a similar trip that saw her catch pacesetter Lady Merlot in the final strides to snatch up the half length victory in a personal best 2:00.2. Tuscan Sky hit the wire two lengths behind the leaders to earn the third-place share of the $20,000 Grassroots prize.
Bax’s Parkhill Stud Farm, Glengate Farms of Campbellville and Ariel Stables of North York own Grammy Hall, who has struggled through the first half of her sophomore campaign. With two solid starts under her belt, the partners will be looking for another strong effort from the Angus Hall lass as the three-year-old trotting fillies head into the final two Grassroots events of their career.
Charming Oaks stepped off the quickest mile of the six Grassroots divisions, reaching the wire in a track record matching 1:59. In spite of being handicapped by the outside Post 7, driver Jim McClure had Charming Oaks on the front end before the :28.3 opening quarter, and the pair never looked back, sailing through a :58.3 half and a 1:28 three-quarters on their way to a two length victory.
Lisas Encore and Tameka Seelster rounded out the top three, with favourite Good Common Cents failing to get into the action from Post 5.
Robert Mackenzie, Jr. trains Charming Oaks for Nicholas Malcolm of Milton. Through just six sophomore starts, two of them at the Gold Series level, the Kadabra daughter has now posted two wins and four seconds for earnings of $58,425.
Dream Of Glory champion Random Solution was upset in the final Grassroots division by veteran reinsman Don McElroy and Greater Good, who used a strong sprint home to claim the 2:00.1 win in a race that saw multiple lead changes. Random Solution had to settle for second, while Putter Perfect was a length back in third.
Freelton resident William Daniel Ray trains Greater Good and shares ownership on the King Conch filly with Scott Maracle of Hagersville. The win bumped Greater Good into fifth in the point standings and boosted her record to six wins and three seconds in 16 starts for earnings of $45,825.
The other Grassroots divisions went to Dornello in 2:00.3 and Majestic Style in 2:01.
The three-year-old trotting fillies pick up their Grassroots rivalry on Sept. 23 at Georgian Downs, while Hanover Raceway fans will have a look at the two-year-old trotting colts in Grassroots action on Saturday, Sept. 6.
For complete results please go to: http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/results/data/rhnvrsa.html.